Seven minutes with the Sandman


I read when I was a kid that it takes seven minutes to get to sleep. I read too much as a kid. After that, my falling-asleep process always went like this.

11:30 p.m. If I start falling asleep right now, I can be asleep by 11:37. That means that if I set my alarm for 8:00, I’ll actually wake up before my alarm if I sleep for eight hours. That seems pointless; I paid good money for that alarm clock. I’ll wait until 11:53 to fall asleep.

11:53 p.m. Okay, time to start falling asleep … now! Go!

11:55 p.m. I’m still not asleep. Okay, no problem. As long as I’m asleep by midnight, I’m on schedule.

11:59 p.m. It’s one minute until midnight! I’d better fall asleep sometime today!

12:00 a.m. I’m not asleep yet. Okay, concentrate: I have sixty seconds until the clock says 12:01. If I can fall asleep by then, I’m still technically in the clear.

12:01 a.m. Rats. I didn’t make it. Officially, there’s no way I can get the full eight hours’ sleep and get up on time. That sucks. I’m either going to be late or tired tomorrow.

12:03 a.m. Okay, so which is it going to be? Late? Or tired?

12:04 a.m. If I’m late, I’ll just say the power went out at my house and the alarm clock didn’t go off. I mean, I should have a battery backup, but nobody ever remembers to buy those. Better late than tired.

12:05 a.m. Oh, shit! I’ve got a science test first thing tomorrow, so I don’t want to be late, or I won’t have enough time. On the other hand, I want to be fully alert if I’m taking a test. So what’s it going to be?

12:07 a.m. Wait — was that test tomorrow or was it Wednesday?

12:08 a.m. No, it’s definitely tomorrow. I think. I have to be ready anyway. Did I even study? how do you add vectors again? What’s the total of an 8 cm vector at zero degrees plus a six cm vector at 30 degrees?

12:13 a.m. It’s … hmmm. 13.5 cm at 12.8 degrees. Yeah, I’ll be fine.

12:15 a.m. What if I drink coffee? Then I can wake up on time and be alert. I’ll drink coffee.

12:17 a.m. Do we have coffee filters? Crap. I’ve got to go check.

12:19 a.m. Okay, we don’t have filters. No problem — I’ll just hit Tim Hortons in the morning.

12:20 a.m. Of course, that’s going to take me out of my way. Figure in about five minutes. I’ll set my alarm for 7:55.

12:25 a.m. Wait — there’ll probably be a line at Tim Hortons in the morning, right? Of course–that’s when people drink coffee. I’d better make it ten minutes. I’ll change my alarm to 7:50. That means that if I start going to sleep right now, I’ll be asleep in seven minutes, andI can have a solid … hmmm….

12:26 a.m. Okay. 12:25 plus seven is 12:32. 7:50 minus 12:32 is … seven hours and … eighteen minutes. Oh, hold on. It’s 12:26. So, that’s seven hours and seventeen minutes. That’s okay. That’s still within the national average range.

12:43 a.m. If I’m asleep in seven minutes, I can have exactly seven hours of sleep. Come on, lucky sevens!

1:00 a.m. This isn’t working. Maybe I’ll read. I’ve heard that if you can’t fall asleep, you should just do something else.

1:37 a.m. Damn! This Robert Jordan sure writes some page-turners! How’s Rand going to get away from the Aes Sedai?

1:53 a.m. Whoa! It’s almost two. Okay, I’ve heard that human beings technically only need six hours of sleep. If I start now, I can be asleep on the hour, then get up at eight. I’ll just sneak in under the wire.

8:53 a.m. Oh Jesus! Okay, calm down. I’ve heard that if I call a cab, it takes seven minutes to get to school….

4 Responses to “Seven minutes with the Sandman”

  1. 1 Candace


  2. 2 Ross

    I was sure when I came across ‘Seven Minutes With The Sandman’ that you’d been in some sort of altercation with the ECW legend.

    Hey with the beer gut, smoking problem and reliance on using a cane, you’d take him.

  3. Man, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done similar late night sleep math—and ended up waking an hour after my exam/appointment/etc.

  4. 4 Eric

    Some comic was talking about that on a Dr. Katz show before.

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